The South Korean won and shares rose early on Wednesday as risk appetite returned following overnight strength on Wall Street and positive third-quarter Chinese GDP data. The won was quoting at 1,121.7 to the dollar, up 0.7 per cent from the previous close of 1,129.4.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,044.75 points. China’s economy grew 6.7 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier as increased government spending and a property boom offset stubbornly weak exports. “The won seems to be adjusting after sharply climbing in the past few days on firm U.S. stocks,” said Ha Keon-hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.
He added that the won may not strengthen beyond the 1,100 level as it has in the past since the dollar remained strong. However, holding onto the current 1,120 level is a possibility since Chinese GDP data met market expectations, he said.
Offshore investors were poised to be buyers, purchasing a net 160.9 billion Korean won ($143.48 million) worth of KOSPI shares by mid-session. Shares of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd rose nearly 1 percent after the company said it accepted 747.8 billion won worth construction order.
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd gained 1.7 per cent. The market breadth was almost neutral with 402 stocks advancing against 384 declines. December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 point to 110.63.